He is ‘Lord of the Small’

Praise to the Lord of the small broken things,
who sees the poor sparrow that cannot take wing.
who loves the lame child and the wretch in the street
who comforts their sorrows and washes their feet.

Praise to the Lord of the faint and afraid
who girds them with courage and lends them His aid,
He pours out his spirit on vessels so weak,
that the timid can serve and the silent can speak.

Praise to the Lord of the frail and the ill
who heals their afflictions or carries them till,
they leave this tired frame and to paradise fly.
to never be sick and never to die.

Praise him, O praise Him all ye who live
who’ve been given so much and can so little give
our frail lisping praise God will never despise-
He sees His dear children through mercy-filled eyes.

Text: Johanna Anderson

Music: Dan Forrest

For Your Day

For 20 years, since I discovered its riches, the oratorio, Elijah, by Mendelssohn, has been a source of comfort and hope. From the opening chorus of, “Help, Lord!” through all of it’s Scripture-laden content, it is the story of a people in need of God’s help and deliverance. And it’s the story of how God did deliver. This aria, sung by a young boy in this rendition, is one of my favorites. Direct instruction. “Rest in the Lord, wait patiently for Him, and He will give you your heart’s desire.”

 

Little People, Big Faith

Children often express their faith best. No show, no pompous posturing, no hidden agenda. I found these little notes of love for God and family from my firstborn, Charlie, while looking for something in the “archives”, as Tom calls it. The last one is from Sammy, found in  a notebook where he wrote down little prayers.

When the profound spiritual darkness of this world presses in and questions swirl, we can do no better than to go back to the basics, shelve our doubt and fears, and return to the simplicity and humility of a little child. This goes against every prideful instinct of humanity. But it’s the way to true peace.

“Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.” ~ Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew 3, verse 18

(Translation below: “I am Jesus’ Little Lamb”)

Charlie1

 

Charlie2

 

Charlie3

 

Charlie4

 

Translation below: “Lord, I love you. You are treasured in my heart. I am blessed by you and you are wonderful.”
 
Sammy1

From the Mouths of Children

Emmy has learned so much just since the end of August at her school. Each day begins with half an hour of chapel led by the pastor and ends with Closing where the children pray and go over their verses and what they are learning. They are taught not only the Christian faith but the language of faith in worship. The doctrine in the hymns alone is instructive. We are so grateful to have an ally in the raising of our child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Emmy recited what she had learned before dinner a couple of nights ago.

You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength, silencing your enemies and all who oppose you. ~ Psalm 8:2

 

“No Man Cares for My Soul”

This below was originally posted in August of 2013. My friend Teeky in the UK put up the attached video in conjunction with the Sanctuary Conference they held that year. I listened again to the audio of the pastor speaking, and all I can say is, yes. This is the entire root of our problems among Christians who are content to carry on without real love for anybody but themselves. This is it. Here’s the post from 2013:

Since posting on the subject of the love missing among Christians, I have heard from several people who are really hurting. One woman in our area has health problems that now keep her from her large, bustling Baptist church that she had been a part of for years. In the several months that have passed since she has had to stop attending church, not one on the large pastoral “team” has bothered to call on her. There is every program you can create at church, but no shepherd has visited and inquired how she is doing physically, let alone spiritually. This is the reality of institutional churches that have everything, but they lack the most important thing of all, the real Jesus.

This clip from Richard Owen Roberts (sent by my UK friend, Teeky,) really gripped me. We have to be the love or there won’t be any. We can’t look to spiritual leadership today, much of which is bankrupt and obsessed with programs and growth and image. We have to each be the love to each other. That’s all of our job in the body of Christ.

From Tom

The present scenario facing our families has resulted in Vic and VCY America rattling legal sabers in an attempt to scare away natural consequences. The old secular TV game show of the 60’s and 70’s had it right–“Truth or Consequences.” The truth, which has slowly been coming out over the past three and a half years (actually over 25 years), is taking its natural course, shedding light on shadowy things–things that in the world of narcissism ought never be spoken.

Not surprisingly, the thread of this whole scenario can be followed (or you could say, predicted) in Scripture. It is not wrought by human minds or manipulations, but was designed into the fabric of moral code governing human relationships by the Creator Himself. We can’t “argue” with that.

Well-known Scriptures such as “Be sure, your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23b) and, “Be not deceived, God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7) quickly come to mind. Vic and Randall Melchert in their arrogance have ignored the direct instruction of Matthew 18. Simply, they can’t do that without consequences, though they may be long in coming. (The Matthew 18 process started three and a half years ago with Ingrid privately entreating Vic at our kitchen table which started all of this.) You can deal in truth, or be crushed by its consequences. Let’s see, there’s even a secular “proverb” that deals with this: “The wheels of justice grind slowly, but exceedingly fine.”

The devil has sought the destruction of our family: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10), and while he has had some success, yet we have hope and “we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

Choose Your Legacy – a Repost

The following is a post I wrote three and a half years ago. I feel led to run it again.

“Of all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these: ‘It might have been.'”

~ John Greenleaf Whittier

We don’t get a second chance at life. The life choices we make will affect our families for the rest of their lives. We can die surrounded by our dear ones, knowing that despite our mistakes, we loved them all well, or we can die essentially alone, having lost all that matters in life: the respect and regard of our spouse, children and grandchildren.

It won’t matter to my six children what flaming essays I wrote about the great evangelical disaster, what powerful broadcasts I did on radio against all the ills of the day, or how silver words rolled off my tongue, including Scripture, if at home I did not love them and their father.

The greatest petri dish for atheism and rebellion is not a secular university filled with hatred for God. The best place to create contempt for Christ is a professing Christian home that is actually a lie. No greater disgust can be earned by a parent than to speak of loving God who they can’t see, while mistreating or neglecting the family right in front of them.

We can speak great swelling words about the resurrection power of Christ to heal sexual deviants, abortionists, murderers, and drug addicts, but if that same Christ is not allowed to heal the relationships in our own lives, we make a mockery of our claims.

We can serve God until we collapse in exhaustion, deny ourselves vacations, rest and all earthly pleasures, but if we do not love those closest to us, our own flesh and blood, our service is meaningless in the end, because we have failed at the most important job.

We represent Christ to our children as parents in the home. All the lip service regarding spiritual things, and all the righteous “standards” we erect against the vices of the day will never hide hypocrisy from the eyes of those who know best.

Sin, when it is covered up in a family, spawns a million evils. It eats like a cancer at the trust upon which all real relationships must rest. It kills joy and faith, it steals what is sacred and it lays waste to all that is precious and irreplaceable.

Every one of us has a choice in our families. We cannot change whatever sorrow existed in some of our families of origin. Sometimes, the sin sickness is so deep and has twisted minds and hearts so completely that only biblical separation from that sin is possible. But all of us can address the marriages and children entrusted to us now. All of us can live, starting now, so as to not have further regrets.

The ruins of families that might have been so different are all around us. Think for a moment of all the happy innocence, all the laughter and all the life-giving joy that might have been in so many homes, homes that were instead filled with rancor and hatred, grudge-holding and betrayal.

If you think that anything in your life, including going out ‘serving God,’ is more important than your family, imagine yourself as a dying man or woman in the last hours of life. Imagine the horrible barrenness of dying without the love and respect of your children and grandchildren. Picture the regret of that person who could have filled the lives of these people with love and joy and wise instruction, but chose something else instead.

We will all leave a legacy behind. Those who profess Christ will either leave a legacy of Christ’s love stamped upon the hearts and lives of their families or they will leave a legacy of hypocrisy, destruction, misery and sorrow.

The choice is ours. We are all choosing that legacy now.

An Evening Gift

Our son, Will, is busy at college, but this evening he sent this beautiful and ancient hymn. It came for me at exactly the moment that God wanted it to. Will attached a version of this hymn with a French choir singing along with organ. The setting is by the compose,r Vierne. The organ music is powerful, contrasting with the voices of the choir. The cry of the supplicant, and the answering, response of the Spirit of our all powerful God. I hope this blesses you as it did me tonight. The words echo the cry of our hearts: Come, Holy Spirit. Without you, we can do nothing.

 

COME, HOLY GHOST
send down those beams,
which sweetly flow in silent streams
from Thy bright throne above.

O come, Thou Father of the poor;
O come, Thou source of all our store,
come, fill our hearts with love.

O Thou, of comforters the best,
O Thou, the soul’s delightful guest,
the pilgrim’s sweet relief.

Rest art Thou in our toil, most sweet
refreshment in the noonday heat;
and solace in our grief.

O blessed Light of life Thou art;
fill with Thy light the inmost heart
of those who hope in Thee.

Without Thy Godhead nothing can,
have any price or worth in man,
nothing can harmless be.

Lord, wash our sinful stains away,
refresh from heaven our barren clay,
our wounds and bruises heal.

To Thy sweet yoke our stiff necks bow,
warm with Thy fire our hearts of snow,
our wandering feet recall.

Grant to Thy faithful, dearest Lord,
whose only hope is Thy sure word,
the sevenfold gifts of grace.

Grant us in life Thy grace that we,
in peace may die and ever be,
in joy before Thy face.
Amen. Alleluia!